BULLIES ON THE PLAYGROUND--THE PROPER ROLE OF ANGER IN A MISMANAGED NATION
Psychology and law-enforcement focus on the causes and negative results of anger--crimes against others or their property, various abuses and other dysfunctional behaviors. But there is another side to the story of anger. This involves our response or lack-of-response to mistreatment. For example, where would we be without the indignation that we feel towards the perpetrators of evil in its various forms, especially towards those who target the innocent, ethnic minorities and various other vulnerable folks who are the victims of this abuse in its many forms?
The problem with our thinking on the subject of anger is that we have begun to regard anger --ANY anger, as wrong. The logical result of this kind of reasoning is that there is no check on people's bad acts, and those who commit these abusive acts are allowed to continue their behaviors. Let me illustrate this, using our current economic climate. Who has benefitted and who has been hurt by the actions of leadership in the financial sector? Their deception in packaging substandard loans as safe investments is what led to a world-wide devaluation in which the average person lost half of his net worth and which triggered the worst wave of unemployment since the Great Depression.
So are you telling me that anger has no place in this discussion? Are you saying that people have no right to show their anger by demonstrating and protesting in front of many of the same Wall Street banks and investment houses who caused this catastrophic world-wide recession? I have heard some who have characterized the demonstrators as unfocused, ineffective, overly-simplistic, disorganized, impotent, clueless and worse. If these observations are accurate, then comparing these demonstrators with the U.S. Congress is the next logical step, because the two would appear to have a great deal in common.
But it is in this comparison where the fundamental differences are most visible. The people who are demonstrating on Wall Street are some of the victims of the abuses caused by the collusion of Congress with Wall Street. Every day the number of demonstrators increases, prompting many to comment in a very public way about the various advantages and disadvantages of such a public protest.
So what would you like to see? Shall we all stand by while Congress and corporate America continue to pat the bullies on the back and reward them with huge bonuses? Should we let them continue to grow fat on our money without fear of consequences for their various deceptions?
Has it occurred to anyone that there just may be good reasons why all of these people are so angry? Do you think that the cronies on Wall Street and the U.S. Congress CARE what the public thinks of all of the bribery and abuse? They seem only to care about stuffing their own pockets, and they will take care of ANYONE who will help them to do THAT!
If you look at how revolutions are started, you will see a long trail of abuse that was allowed to continue to the point that people finally had no choice but to take up arms to defend themselves and throw off the abusers who perpetrated economic and other crimes against them first.
The point of all of this is that people don't just get angry without a reason. They put up with the bullies of this world for just so long before they pull them out of their ivory towers and teach them that they are not more special than the rest of us. Financial and political tyrants are no less bullies than any other dictators who have terrorized the world since its foundation.
These powerful, effective and well-connected allies may look different, but their results are the same--domination over all the rest of the kids on the playground. If nothing is done to stop them, this economic victimization will continue to wreak havoc on the world community. At least that is what the world's bullies have hoped for, strived for and have temporarily succeeded in doing. Any attempt by the representatives of the people to prevent them from achieving their aims has been met with firm resistance by their powerful allies in Congress, who have been paid to represent them.
It does reach a point, though, where the rest of us have had enough and are finally willing to do something about it ourselves. In the beginning stages we look for a superman or super-politician who will do it for us. If a suitable candidate cannot be found, or if we lose confidence in the ability of our elected leaders to respond properly to the bullies on the playground, eventually we band together. At some point, sheer numbers overwhelm the bullies and they either retreat from their respective positions or face the consequences for their behavior.
That day is not far off--it is near. Leadership had better get off the fence and stop pretending to support the people when it's election time, and then enacting legislation designed to keep people powerless. The lack of consequences for the bullies tells the people that leadership is on the side of the bullies and not the people who elected them as their own representatives.
Americans who are working together and speaking with a united voice are the most powerful human force known to man. I don't know about you, but I am glad that I am not one of the bullies or one of those who support them, because their time for making the rules and pushing people around the playground are over! Let's throw our support behind and stand in solidarity with our fellow Americans who are standing shoulder-to-shoulder against these playground bullies. God bless the people of the United States of America!
Mark Overt Skilbred